That's my friend Jesse's blog. Jesse is a friend from my neighborhood and my Jewish community who is training for his second Boston Marathon this year. As last year, Jesse is running—and fundraising!—for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Marathon Challenge Team. This year, Jesse is keeping a blog where you can follow his training through the cold weather, which includes the added challenge of his being a new dad (Baby Yonatan is about five weeks old!) and, come spring, finding kosher for Passover alternatives to powerade and gu.
Jesse is running his second marathon after overcoming years of knee problems and surgeries that left him unsure he'd ever be able to run again. For his friends who saw Jesse struggle with his injuries, periodically needing to walk with a cane, it was a miracle that he trained and ran last year and a great excitement that he is running the marathon this year, once again.
On April 6, 2005 Carolyn and I received a phone call with the news that we had lost our Uncle Chris to pancreatic cancer at age 44. Twelve days later, I ran the Boston Marathon in Chris’ memory with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. About 6-8 miles into the race, the cheering started to change from “Yay!” to a more focused cheer – “Go Jesse” (my name was on my arms) and "Do it for Chris!" (“For Chris” was on my shirt). I lost count somewhere between miles 8 and 10 of how many times Chris' name was yelled along the course. It was in the hundreds by that point -- with 16 miles to go! There were people thanking Dana-Farber runners for raising money that helped get them treatment, small kids running after us with cups of water or oranges, and my personal favorite -- juice pops at the turn onto Commonwealth Ave! Thanks to your help, I raised $5500 for cancer research.
This year, I am running the Boston Marathon again to raise money for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team. The DFMC team’s goal is to raise $3.6 million to support cancer research for the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. Since 1987, this program has helped to provide hundreds of researchers with the money to begin researching new cancer treatments. Experimental treatments such as the ones developed through the Barr Program gave Chris valuable extra time with his friends and family.
Today, you have the opportunity to help cancer patients from around the world benefit from the treatments developed at Dana-Farber. My personal fundraising goal this year is $10,000. This is almost twice the amount that I raised last year. Please take a moment to click on the DFMC link under “Sponsor Me.” By giving to DFMC, not only are you supporting my dream of running the Boston Marathon, you are supporting the opportunity for cancer patients to receive critical treatment options.
Training for the Boston Marathon in New England is always an interesting challenge. Last year there were frozen water bottles, frozen goo, and a 12 mile run with 30” of fresh snow. This year, in addition to the weather, I’ll be training with a new baby and running the Marathon during Passover! To track this year’s challenges, check back in on the Long Cold Run.